“At some point people are going to have to understand that’s not safe,” he said.
Chairman Eddie Sims also brought up the point that first responders are going to respond to the community first and the hospital may be waiting a little longer. Therefore, people seeking shelter in their home instead of the hospital will be reached more quickly by first responders.
Norman Fire Chief Jim Fullingim said public storm shelters were closed on June 30. Those facilities will not be opened in the event of a storm or tornado. Fullingim said he believes city council will be formally addressing the issue during their July 23 meeting and will take action to make the closure of the public shelters official.
He said they also plan to discuss what they can do as a community to be more prepared in the event of severe weather.
Many board members and Cohea reiterated that the public needs to stay in their home instead of driving around to seek shelter.
In other business, both the fire and police departments gave their monthly updates during the meeting.
The fire department recently ordered two new fire apparatus for stations No. 6 and No. 1. They also will soon be ordering another apparatus for Station No. 4, Fullingim reported.
There are four Norman Fire Department vacancies which will change to five on July 17. Fullingim said they typically have a minimum of six vacancies before they begin to look at hiring.
“We can take those vacancies a littler better than the police department,” he said.
The fire department also will begin recruiting this fall.
Norman police Lt. Jim Keesee reported there are seven cadets in the police academy, which will be graduating on July 25. The academy started off with 91 applicants but many were filtered out after interviews, background checks and the six-month academy and field training.